Texas Frat Forbids Gays, Mexicans and Interracial Dating
The video of a University of Oklahoma frat singing a racist song might have connections to the University of Texas. According to a Washington Post story on the recent controversy, "[Someone] writing in a Reddit thread nearly one month ago, referenced a chant similar to the one on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon bus while discussing initiation at the University of Texas. 'For SAE context,' the person wrote, 'a few buddies of mine told me [this was] their favorite song."
The similar chant is, allegedly, from Phi Gamma Delta (also known as FIJI and Phi Gam), a fraternity with over 120 chapters throughout the US and Canada. The aforementioned Redditor posted a poorly spelled flyer, allegedly from the frat, listing its "confidential" rules. These include, "no being a pussy," "no interracial dating", "NO FAGETRY", and "no Mexicans."
This isn't the first time Phi Gamma Delta has been condemned for racism. Last month, they threw a Border Patrol-themed party where students wore sombreros and construction outfits. Students filed at least nine complaints about the party. However, while the University of Oklahoma suspended SAE for its racist chant, the University of Texas hasn't done anything to discipline Phi Gamma Delta. When a student tweeted at the school's official Twitter page, asking if a statement on the party was to be released, the reply was, "While the behavior doesn’t mirror UT core values, it’s within students’ right to freedom of speech at private off campus event."
The fraternity's controversies transcend Texas. Last year, the UC Irvine chapter came under fire for hosting a "Fiji Islander" party. That incident has a history: in 1987, members of the frat's University of Wisconsin chapter, "put on blackface and erected a cardboard caricature of a black Fiji islander, complete with bone-deviated septum and exaggerated lips, for a party...."
The SAE video has sparked a national discussion regarding the function of fraternities. It remains to be seen what impact these recent developments will have on that debate.